Margin

Life is about showing up. A couple years ago I reentered the workforce as a substitute teacher. I tell people that, and they roll their eyes. “I’d never want to do that,” they say. True, it’s not easy, but it’s one place I see God’s hand at work on a daily basis.

After staying home to home school my children for seven years and work very small jobs, I struggled at first with what I could do for work outside the home. Anything but teaching, I thought, I’ve had enough of that. But then it occurred to me that maybe I was being disobedient.I needed to find something I could do to provide a second income. Teaching was something I knew how to do, and, with kids still in school, the hours are ideal, and the pay is fine. Once I realized that I was being disobedient (and maybe even a little spoiled), I swallowed my pride and applied to sub. It must have been God’s will for me because immediately after my application was approved, I started getting calls to work. I took that as affirmation that that was where God wanted me.

He continues to guide my steps. I usually don’t know from one day to the next where I will be or what I will be doing. I don’t know which school I will be in, which classroom, which subject, with which children. As when I home schooled, when I’d wake up and pray “Lord, I have a million things to do today. Which ten things would you like me to do?” and plan out my day, now I ask the same thing and wait for the call or see what pops up. And it’s an everyday act of obedience. That’s where you want me, Lord? Ok, I’m on my way!  I pray on the way to work, “Lord, help me to serve You through service to the children and adults I will meet today.”

Life is about showing up. It’s about stepping up and stepping out in faith and finding God already there. He desires my availability. I need to allow space for Him to work in my life. To use me. I have things He puts before me everyday:  the kids, my husband, the house, work. I have my to do lists. But also, like Mary, I need to sit at His feet for a while in silence. Sure, I could fill up that “empty time” with other things, but whatever those things are pale in comparison to the kingdom work He would have me do. It’s good to be busy, but not so busy we plan every moment of our lives, not allowing God in at all. Apart from those lists I make myself, I need to have some margin–some white space after the question “Lord, what would You have me do today?”–to let God surprise me.

 

 

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